Oklahomans were the best savers in a three-state survey that examined debt, savings and big purchases, according to final information released Tuesday from the Arvest Consumer Sentiment Survey.
Oklahomans reported they are saving about 13.1 percent of their earnings. Families with incomes of more than $75,000 reported saving 17 percent, while families with incomes less than $75,000 reported saving 10.9 percent. Families with children reported saving 10.7 percent, and families without children reported saving 12.9 percent.
The overall regional savings rate was 11.6 percent. The overall rate for Missouri was 11.7 percent and 9.5 percent for Arkansas.
Kyle Dean, associate director of the Steven C. Agee Economic Research & Policy Institute at Oklahoma City University, said future surveys will seek to determine if consumers fall back into pre-recession patterns of placing little importance in their savings.
“We are very interested in the savings rate data indicating that 15 percent of Oklahoma residents intend to increase their rate of savings in the future,” Dean said. “What we have seen nationally since the recession is that consumers are becoming more aware than any time in the recent past of their need to save more.”
Oklahoma consumers reported having similar debts as their neighbors in Missouri and Arkansas, with about one-third of respondents declaring themselves debt-free.
Within the three-state region, consumer debt was divided among these categories: 37 percent reported mortgage debt, 6 percent reported home equity debt, 28 percent reported auto loans, 31 percent reported credit card debt and 11 percent reported student loans. About one-third of the region’s respondents, 33 percent, reported having no current consumer debt.
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